Helen Rosenthal

Upper West Siders, meet the winners of the Democratic primaries for City Council: Helen Rosenthal and Mark Levine.

Rosenthal will be the nominee for council in the 6th district, which covers most of the neighborhood up to 96th street and stretches to 109th west of Broadway. Levine will represent the 7th district, which includes Manhattan Valley, Morningside Heights and parts of Washington Heights. Given that Democrats always win these districts, the winner of the primary is most likely going to be the winner of the general election. Rosenthal will face a Green and Republican candidate. Levine is also expected to face a Green candidate.

Levine’s victory was a landslide, but Rosenthal’s victory was very close, with Mel Wymore coming in second. Both were former chairs of Community Board 7.

Rosenthal used to work in city government and now runs a nonprofit dedicated to helping public school parents get jobs. Her supporters included liberal firebrand Michael Moore. Read about her positions on the important issues here.

Here was the vote count just before midnight, via WNYC:

NEWS | 35 comments | permalink
    1. robert says:

      With 98.6% reporting the numbers are:

      City Council District 6






















    2. PRL says:

      If Helen Rosenthal’s anti-development, anti-charter schools, anti-law enforcement, and pro-rent control positions are realized, we Upper West Siders can kiss goodbye to any gains our neighborhood has made over the years. I cannot understand what makes some voters and politicians yearn for the bad old days of the 1970’s and 1980’s. How quickly some forget that just 25 years ago, many large swaths of the UWS were still undesirable and dangerous. The very proposals that Ms. Rosenthal claims will attract the middle class will actually chase them away.

      • westsideMoms says:

        I could not agree more with PRL.

        what is wrong with the UWS voters?

      • Larry Wood says:

        Dear PSL,
        You are delusional to suggest large swaths of the upper west side is undesirable and dangerous. Economic, cultural and racial diversity is what makes our community great, sounds you wish to wipe out the remaining low and moderate income and make haven for the rich only. Developers are not suffering an iota in our neighborhood, most of our public NOT charter schools are highly desirable, rent and eviction protections safeguard 10s of thousands of low and middles class families–who would be priced out in a flash without protections. You have a sad vision of community

        • westsideMoms says:

          Larry – PRL did not say any of those things.

          re- read the post ….slowly now..

          However, your reply is your standard attack from the extreme left. offering no answer or solutions, just intolerence for anyone who does not walk in step with extremists.

          • DMH says:

            WestSideMoms, I happen to completely disagree with the substance of your comment (“what is wrong with UWS voters?”. “re-read the post, slowly”), but also these personal attacks and insults are uncivil and out of line. There is no need for that. We all love the UWS here… some of us don’t like cookie cutter glass towers and bankers’ wives complaining about freeloaders… some of us think rent control badly distorts supply-demand dynamics… regardless, doesn’t mean insults and nastiness are appropriate.

        • PRL says:

          Larry, read my post more carefully and don’t sound off with wild assumptions or insults. I wrote nothing that laments the cultural diversity of our neighborhood, nor did I claim that it is currently dangerous and undesirable. My concern is that extreme liberal politicians like Ms. Rosenthal (and, obviously voters like yourself) wish to implement policies that will harm the desirability and growth of our neighborhood, which in turn will have adverse effects on our businesses, homes, safety, and ultimately the very people that live here. If this is what you wish for, then you very well may get it. Good luck to you.

          • Ms h says:

            I met Helen at a meet and greet, her answers were canned and seemed insincere. She didnt answer questions about her childrens schooling. She is not middle class, she is the wealthy (her husband is a Managing Director at capital markets firm).

    3. John Gibson says:

      Never underestimate the stupidity of the average voter seems to be par for the course in this particular election. I weep for the future of the UWS.

    4. Ellen says:

      Surprising that Helen Rosenthal won, especially given that New York Times endorsed Mel Wymore and Marc Landis had recommendations from various elected officials. Also Ken Biberaj did a lot of campaigning around the West Side.

      Is it possible that some voters confused her with State Assembly rep Linda Rosenthal?

      • Cato says:

        That’s actually a *brilliant* hypothesis! No one I knew had any interest in voting for *Helen* Rosenthal.

        Is there a decent Republican running for the office? I’ve never voted that line but just might consider it now.

    5. Scooter Stan says:

      Well, might as well join the fray and jump in with some scary thoughts:

      1)Admittely I supported Mel Wymore, whom I know and respect 100%. I don’t really know much about Ms. Rosenthal’s alleged policies of “anti-development, anti-charter schools, anti-law enforcement.” BUT, if that is worrisome, consider this;

      2) Should Mr. de Blasio win in November you can be assured that we will see policies of “anti-development, anti-charter schools, anti-law enforcement” carried to such extremes that our heads will spin and within a year’s time we will be asking ourselves ‘Wha’ hoppen?!?!)

      3) As PRL notes, we may very well return to “the bad old days of the 1970′s and 1980′s … (when) many large swaths of the UWS were still undesirable and dangerous.” An avowed super-liberal, de Blasio and his administration may very well so demoralize the NYPD that we will see the same sort of attitude as prevailed in the 70’s, when angry police almost gave up on responding to rampant crime.

      4) Besides which, I fear that de Blasio is a “one-trick pony” who capitalized on the current anti-Bloomberg anti-wealth faux-populism and many with those beliefs transferred their longings to ‘the white guy with the bi-racial family,’ making him into their salvation.

      5). Will a ‘Mayor de Blasio’ wave a magic wand and make all the glass-condos shrink into the earth, drive the wealthy over the GW Bridge and out of NYC, force landlords to lower rents in the spirit of ‘can’t we all get along’, force restaurants to charge under $20 for all meals, and teach us all to hold hands and sing “Kumbaya”?

      6) I doubt it, but still fear it. Which is why this registered Democrat may, for the very first time, vote for a Republican — Joe Lhota — who at least has the track record of managing this very very unmanageable city!

      • Cato says:

        Well said as always, Stan. I, too, expect to vote for Lhota, the first time I will ever have voted Republican since voting for George McGovern in 1972.

        But that’s why I’m comfortable with the idea of *also* voting for a Republican (or a Green or an *Anything*) other than the apparent Democratic nominee for City Council, who is a dilettante who (as suggested above) may well have garnered votes from people confusing her with our proven Assemblymember, *Linda* Rosenthal. No one I know voted for *Helen* Rosenthal, and her interests are just too different from mine for me to support her, Democratic nod or not.

    6. Madeline Goode says:

      Any truth to the rumor that Helen Rosenthal’s people were handing out literature at the polls suggesting that she was endorsed by the New York Times and Scott Stringer? Anyone have one to prove it? Love to know if this is fact or fiction.

      • n114 says:

        I was an intern at Helen’s campaign and I’m familiar with all the literature – this isn’t true.

        They did have one piece of lit that featured Gale Brewer on it, and that did have Brewer’s NY Times endorsement on it. But they included her on the flier after getting Gale’s endorsement, and it was pretty clear that it was Gale who got the endorsement, not Helen.

        • n114 says:

          It should say after getting Gale’s permission, not endorsement.

        • UWS-er says:

          And you’re not going to defend her against the other comments on here?

          • n114 says:

            On the contrary, I would be more than happy to.

            First of all, “Ms h”‘s allegation that Helen is insincere just isn’t true – I guess she may have gotten that impression, but I’ve seen Helen be extremely passionate about many issues while only talking to myself and other volunteers (as opposed to voters she’s trying to woo). Trust me, she is sincere.

            As for the allegations that her ultra-liberalism will ruin the UWS, all I can say is that she isn’t stupid. She’s worked at City Hall, she knows how things work. Her liberalism during the primary was genuine, but that doesn’t mean she’ll bankrupt the city in order to achieve all her promises.

            I also find it pretty unlikely that Helen only won because people mixed her up with Linda Rosenthal. Sure, she probably got a few votes because of that, but I doubt it’s responsible for a 1,400 vote margin. I spoke with hundreds of UWSers during the campaign, and only a couple of them even asked if she was related to Linda, let alone the same person.

            Let me know if there are any other questions you’d like me to respond to.

            • Cato says:

              Other questions? Sure:

              1. Where did her kids go to school for grades K to 12?

              2. Why has she been so careful to conceal that information from the people she proposes to represent?

            • Mrs H says:

              Her main comment was I am in no one’s pocket and am a progressive. Helen’s campaign was very smart, she targeted people in subsidized housing. For Mitchell-Lama apartments you need to meet certain requirements to get in, but once you are in you are guaranteed cheap rent even if your income goes up (max rent is still under market). Rent control is all luck not based on need.

              She also thought the paid sick days was great. Employees of businesses with 20 or more workers would get up to five paid sick days a year beginning in April 2014; the benefit would kick in by October 2015 at enterprises with 15 to 19 workers. All others would have to provide five unpaid sick days per year, meaning that workers couldn’t get fired for using those days. So this will mean that for a small business to cover the increased cost, employees probably won’t get raises since their employer has a 10% increase in costs. Employees shouldn’t be fired for being sick but we can’t drive small businesses to the brink.

    7. n114 says:

      Cato, it’s not letting me reply to you, so I’m posting this as a new comment.

      I don’t remember the name of her kids’ school; I believe it was a private school. She’s hardly been concealing it, though, I remember her telling multiple people about it. I guess some in this thread may have had a different experience, but I’ve seen her answer it multiple times.

      Also, I believe Wymore, Cooper, and Landis’s kids also go/went to private schools, so she is not unique in that regard.

      • Cato says:

        Thanks, n.

        Funny how people here thought your boss was “insincere”, but you didn’t. And how no one here could find out where your boss’s kids went to school, but you kinda sorta think you heard her tell someone sometime.

        The fact is, she never went on record with an answer, despite being asked. No one’s ever had any doubts that she wouldn’t go near a public school with a ten-foot Mercedes — what self-respecting banker’s wife would? — but she carefully dodged committing to her history at every turn (despite what you kinda sorta think you might have heard her say, maybe).

        And, yes, those other candidates also sent their kids to private schools (though they were, at least, above-board about it). But, of course, they didn’t get many votes from the people in the community, now, did they?

        Guess your beloved boss’s strategy paid off, wouldn’t you say?

    8. MJ says:

      Good luck getting rid of the illegal homeless shelter on 95th st with her in office. Wake up UWS, there is such a thing as being TOO liberal!!!!!

      • Bruce Bernstein says:

        this site seems to attract Republican commenters, or people even further to the right — and in that sense clearly does not represent the Upper West Side, which voted for De Blasio, Brewer, and Rosenthal, and will do so again (overwhelmingly) in November.

        I didn’t support Helen Rosenthal (I supported Marc Landis), but i offer her well-deserved congratulations.

        Let’s be clear: there wasn’t much distinction on issues among the Democratic candidates. Mel Wymore was not “more conservative.” he was pretty much similar to Helen. As were the others. You can argue that Gotbaum and Cooper were very slightly more liberal. You would have to examine the statements with a fine toothed comb to prove that.

        Helen Rosenthal is a perfectly mainstream candidate and will do her best to service the community. How about giving her a chance?

        Many of these same vitriolic commenters have been trashing Gale Brewer for years. Well, your political isolation in this neighborhood has now been proven! Gale’s vote totals on the Upper West Side (including in the 90s) were unprecedented. I guess your neighbors don’t agree with you.

        • Cato says:

          Bruce —

          I don’t know if it’s me to whom you’re referring, but I’ve been a registered Democrat since 1972 — likely before you were born. I’ve never voted the Republican line. Ever.

          I voted for Gale Brewer every time she ran, and just voted for her for Borough President. She did a fabulous job of representing the people in this neighborhood. *All* of the people.

          And, no, “the West Side” did *not* vote for DiBlasio, Brewer or Rosenthal. Individuals did — in Rosenthal’s case, a small minority which, because of the wide field, let her walk into the nomination. Don’t make more of that victory than it is.

          And don’t be so quick to categorize and then dismiss people who don’t tow your line. It’s that squelching of dissent that is adding to the bad name of the people who now call themselves “liberals”. People who disagree with you are entitled to their opinions, you know, without your calling them names.

          Talking about my neighbors, I *still* don’t know anyone who voted for Helen Rosenthal (or who knows where she sent her kids to school……)

        • webot says:

          Oh Bruce –

          Only in New York (and particularly the UWS) can someone with centrists opinions (at least on financial issues) be called a Republican! LOL.
          Life long Dem here (now an independent), happy to support liberal causes BUT, I live in the real world and walk the real streets.
          On the issue of the so called “homeless” that we have given our streets to, enough is enough. $3000 a month to house everyone who comes to our City with a private room.
          Just this week: man from Newbourgh, NY (lived in supportive housing run by UJA) kills the brooklyn comic book fan in Union Square Park. Crazy man tries to get himself killed by cops in Times Square, who shoot 2 bystanders. Convicted English pedophile gets “help me howard” to get him an apt in the Prince George Hotel. NYT article about methodone alley in Union Square park interviews the old man of the group who is from New Jersey.

          • Bruce Bernstein says:

            obviously simply sifting through the comments a few items above show that the many of the commenters on this site lean way towards the right and are not in step with most Upper West Siders. for example, the person who disparaged paid sick leave legislation… this was Gale Brewer’s signature piece of legislation and is immensely popular. and necessary. and in fact a basic labor right. or the person who is going on and on and on with every incidence of crime in the city… for what purpose?

            Oh, and by the way, Cato, stop setting up “straw men”, such as accusing me of “squelching dissent.” Cut the BS!! you can say whatever you please… just don’t claim that you “represent” majority opinion on the West Side.

            once again, Helen Rosenthal was a thoroughly mainstream candidate whose politics were very similar to the other candidates in the race. any attempt to portray her otherwise is a distortion of the facts.

            • Bruce Bernstein says:

              Cato, i challenge you to state on which issues Helen Rosenthal is “extreme” or much different than Mel Wymore or any of the other candidates in the race.

            • webot says:

              Obviously, my point in highlighting the crimes of the week was that our overly generous policies continue to attract out of town vagrants, some of whom commit violent crimes.

              Also, I am not Cato, do not know who that person is and I speak for myself.

              How exactly do you know how “most upper west siders” think and feel? Sadly, only a fraction of the population actually votes in the primaries and winning 27% among 6 leading candidates is hardly a mandate for anything.

    9. Cato says:

      Bruce —

      Talk about setting up “straw men”! I never called her “extreme”.

      And how is she different from the other candidates? Well, for one thing, they answered the question about where they sent their kids to school. The job they were all seeking has a lot to do with managing the City’s public schools — whether they had any experience with those schools, or whether they were rich enough to avoid them altogether, says a great deal about their qualification to manage the schools for us. And for our children.

      Rosenthal didn’t want to betray her wealth so concealed where she sent her kids. The others admitted to it. I’d say that’s a big difference, wouldn’t you?

      • Mrs. H says:

        The major problem with Helen was that she would not say that her kids were in private school. It is a question of transparency.

    10. Liz says:

      Ellen is 100% right. When I spoke with people in my building about who would replace Gale Brewer and Helen Rosenthal’s name came up; they confused her with Linda Rosenthal.

      Linda is a real hard working person and so is Mel. I’m sorry Mel lost. He would have been so much better. He is really in tune with the needs of the people of the UWS.

      The problem with voters — well, it is simple. Many of them are not well informed about the issues or the candidates.

      I went to vote at around 7:00 p.m. and only about 150 people from my A.D. had voted at that time. It’s sad — really sad. People can spend hours on mindless internet activities but they don’t care about their government even enough to go out and vote.

    11. Dr. Z says:

      If you voted for ANYONE supported by the nadler/stringer machine, you’ve got other problems.
      I don’t know what people who say the Gale, or Linda are doing a “good” job are using as the criterea for that statment. Just like when cadidates refer to “I hope I can fill Stringer’s shoes” His shoe size is negligable.
      Voters on the UWS are no different from the voters in Decatur Illinois. “He’s nice, or She’s Nice” is no reason to elect someone. We’re electing individuals that if they came to us for a job, we wouldn’t hire, yet we’re electing them to enact laws under which we’re governed. That’s sick!!
      The problem is that people don’t vote in primaries which are the only real elections. Those registered as “Independents” are not independent at all, they’re left just having to vote for someone other’s have selected for them.
      What I find most troubling is that the young married’s, the young professionals who’ve moved into the neighborhood don’t participate in the process at all. If you look at the membership of the Democratic Clubs you’ll notice that the average age of the members is about 86,they vote, and they stand on cornors handing out literature or getting petitions. That’s why affordable housing is a major issue, that’s why most of the time spent by our Councilperson is spent responding to their needs. We want good schools but that’ll only happen when these younger people start to get involved in these LOCAL races. Politicians do not care about youngsters. Why, because kids can’t vote and their parents are “too busy.”

      • Bruce Bernstein says:

        you don’t think affordable housing is a “major issue” on the UWS?!?

      • Bruce Bernstein says:

        Dr. Z said:

        “If you look at the membership of the Democratic Clubs you’ll notice that the average age of the members is about 86,they vote, and they stand on corners handing out literature or getting petitions. That’s why affordable housing is a major issue, that’s why most of the time spent by our Councilperson is spent responding to their needs.”

        this is very ill-informed, and borderline ageist to boot.

        if you know anything about our current Councilperson (Gale Brewer), you know that her office responds to ALL requests and doesn’t ask if the person is young or old, Democrat or Republican, a registered voter or not. that is why Gale received such unprecedented support on the West Side (80%+ in many areas) in a hotly contested Boro President race.

        Second, you seem to be pitting the needs of seniors against having good schools. if you attended some democratic club meetings, you would find young and old alike support quality public education. maybe you haven’t gotten Gale’s incredible annual mailing about all the public schools in on the UWS.

        finally, your comment about “the average age being 86” continues a spree of comments here against seniors — “too much senior housing”, etc. if the average age of the clubs is indeed 86 — and they are all standing on street corners getting petitions — i think as a Dr. you would want their health formula!